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LECTURE Regulation XVIII of 1812, zemindars were at liberty to
grant talooks or other leases of their lands fixing the rent in perpetuity at their discretion, but still subject to the liability to be dissolved on a sale of the grantor's estate for arrears of revenue in the same manner as before. It then recites that perpetual leases at a fixed rent had always been common, but it had been omitted to declare in Regulations V and XVIII of 1812, whether such tenures, created in violation of Regulation XLIV of 1793, section 2, should be deemed void. The preamble further describes the nature of a putnee talook as a talook created by the zemindar to be held at a rent fixed in perpetuity by the lessee and his heirs for ever, the lessee giving collateral security for his conduct and for the rent at the zemindar's discretion; but that if the original tenant is excused from giving such security, any new tenant is still liable to give such security. It is recited that by the terms of the engagement the tenure may be sold for arrears of rent; and if the proceeds realised are insufficient to pay such arrears, the remaining property of the defaulter is answerable. It is further recited that the talooks are sublet as durputnee talooks on the same terms, and again sublet by the durputneedars as seputnee talooks. The engagements, it is stated, do not show whether upon a sale the tenant is entitled to any surplus proceeds, nor do they prescribe the mode of sale ; and neither the Regulations nor usage supply these omissions; these are dealt with by the Regulation in question. This Regulation first declares all such tenures valid although created before Regulation V of 1812, and although in violation of section 2 of Regulation XLIV of 1793. But nothing in the Regulation is to be held to exempt any tenures held’under engagements from proprietors of revenue
paying estates from liability to be cancelled on sale of the said estates for arrears of revenue under section 5 of Regulalation XLIV of 1793, unless specially exempted by that section or some other specific rule of the Regulations. By section 3 it is enacted, (1) that putnee talooks, as described in the preamble, shall be deemed to be valid tenures in
perpetuity according to the terms of the engagements under which they are held. They are heritable by their conditions, and are by the section further declared capable of being transferred by sale, gift, or otherwise, at the discretion of the holder, as well as answerable for his personal debts, and subject to the process of the Courts in the same manner as other real property. (2) Putnee talookdars are declared to possess the right of letting out the lands composing their talooks in any manner they may deem most conducive to their interests, such engagements to bind the parties, their heirs and assignees, but not to operate to the prejudice of the zemindar's right to hold the superior tenure answerable for any arrear of his rent in the state in which he granted it and free of all incumbrances resulting from the act of his tenant. (3) In case of arrears occurring upon any tenure of the description alluded to in clause 1 of this section, it shall not be liable to be cancelled under Regulation VII of 1799, section 15, but the tenure shall be sold by public auction, and the holder of the tenure shall be entitled to the surplus proceeds beyond the rent due, subject however to section 17 of this Regulation. I shall hereafter refer again to this and other provisions for sale. By section 4, the durputneedar and seputneedar, &c., stand in the same position to their respective lessors as the putneedar occupies with
i S. 2.
LECTURE respect to the zemindar. It is provided by section 5 that,
as the right of alienation has been declared to vest in the holder of a putnee talook, it shall not be competent to the zemindar to refuse to register, and otherwise to give effect to such alienations, by discharging the party transferring his interest from personal responsibility, and by accepting the engagements of the transferee. In conformity, however, to established usage, the zemindar may take a fee of two per cent. on the jumma up to one hundred rupees for registration; and he may demand from the transferee or purchaser of the tenure substantial security to the amount of half the yearly jumma or rent of the tenure : the liability to furnish such security being understood to be one of the original liabilities of the tenure. The above rules apply to sales in execution of decrees as well as to all other alienations, but not to sales for arrears of rent: the purchaser at a sale for arrears of rent being entitled to registration and possession without fee, though of course liable to be called upon to give security. The landlord, by section 6, may, where a fee is payable, refuse registration until it is paid, and until substantial security to the amount specified is tendered and accepted; but an appeal to a Civil Court is given on the question of security. This section and section 5 do not apply to transfers of any fractional part of a putnee talook, nor to any alienation except of the entire interest; for no apportionment of the zemindar's reserved rent can be allowed to stand good unless made under his special sanction. By section 7, in case of sale in execution of a decree, if the purchaser do not conform to the provisions of section 5 within one month from sale, the zemindar may send a sezawul to attach and hold possession of the tenure until the prescribed forms are observed. So
if, on a sale for arrears of rent, the purchaser fails to LECTURE furnish security within a month after sale, and upon requisition so to do, the tenure may be attached. Such attachments are to be for the benefit and at the risk of the purchaser, who is to receive the surplus rents and to be liable in the same way as if the tenure was not attached, and the zemindar's accounts are to be prima facie evidence to warrant attachment for an arrear of rent.
I now proceed to consider the remedies for default in payment of rent and revenue. The Permanent Settlement introduced great changes in these remedies, and, in general, gave a great impetus to litigation with respect to the rights in land. As an instance, it is stated that, within two years after the Permanent Settlement, thirty thousand suits were filed in Burdwan alone.' The most ancient remedies for default in payment of Remedies for
recovery of were imprisonment, corporal punishment, and revenue. dispossession. Imprisonment was the remedy prescribed Imprisonment. by the Regulations of 26th January 1779 :' and by the Regulations of 8th June 1787, the zemindar or farmer was to be imprisoned for arrears of revenue, and his principal servant or a sezawul was to collect the revenue during such imprisonment. By the Regulations of 8th September 1790, the defaulters were to be released from confinement when lands sufficient to realise the revenue had been ordered to be sold. And by a rule of 12th August 1791, it is provided
· Evidence of Mr. Traut before the Select Committee of the House of Commons (1832), 2072.
· Colebrooke's Supplement, 213.
• Arts. 23, 24. Colebrooke's Supplement, 257. Harington's Analysis, Vol. II, 53.
• Colebrooke's Supplement, 495.
that no naib, gomastah, or agent of the zemindar shall be confined for a balance of rent or revenue unless personally responsible for it.' By Regulation XIV of 1793(now repealed as obsolete by Act XVI of 1874), section 4, the defaulter was still to be imprisoned, and the collections to be made by an Ameen (section 6); but by section 8, the power to imprison was suspended if the default was occasioned by drought, inundation or other calamity of season, or by any cause which was not the fault of the proprietor or farmer. Similarly, by sections 23 and 24, sureties might be confined and their lands attached and sold. The lands of disqualified proprietors were to be sold, but the proprietors were not to be imprisoned (section 48). Regulation III of 1794 abolished imprisonment for arrears of revenue except in a few cases. It recites that the rulers of the province have, from the earliest times, exercised the power of imprisonment for such arrears as well as of attaching and selling the defaulter's property. The Governor-General in Council, however, considering the defaulter's property sufficient security, and being solicitous to refrain from every mode of coercion not absolutely necessary, it is enacted by section 3 that proprietors of land, which in any Regulation is to include zemindars, independent talookdars and all actual proprietors who pay revenue direct to Government, shall not be liable to be confined for arrears of revenue or for any demands of the nature of those specified in section 40 of Regulation XIV of 1793 (such as tuccavy, &c.), except in the cases mentioned in section 14 of this Regulation. Arrears are to be recovered by sale as prescribed in this Regulation ; and by section 8
Sale of land.
Colebrooke's Supplement, 307.